Originally published at: http://humidtropics.cgiar.org/rooting-learning-journeys-in-the-territories-of-central-america/
In 2013, Humidtropics initiated the situation analysis of the Nicanorte Action Site (in Spanish). CIAT and Bioversity International, with the help of local consultants, processed available data regarding human development, natural resource management, production systems, and markets to generate outputs about the current state of affairs in the form of maps. At the same time, short interviews with key organizations generated an assessment of the dynamics of the local innovation process. A collective analysis of the processed information resulted in the convergence of stakeholder interests with the Program’s goals and impact pathway, while helping to prioritize targeted land use systems and Field Sites. The convergence of more than 20 key organizations also gave rise to the national Research for Development (R4D) Platform (in Spanish), which is expected to oversee the implementation of Humidtropics in the Action Site and will be a key space for up- and out-scaling the results arising from the actions of the Program.
Guided by the results of the situation analysis, it was decided to focus Program actions on three territories located in northern Nicaragua, where the livelihood of small farm households depends on diversified farms, with emphasis on three land use systems: maize-bean-livestock-tree (Estelí and Condega), coffee-banana-tree (Jinotega and El Cuá) and cocoa-banana-tree (Rancho Grande and Waslala). Based on the successful experience of the Learning Alliances in Nicaragua and Central America, it was decided that the implementation of Humidtropics in Nicanorte will take place via territorial learning alliances, which will serve as platforms to facilitate collective learning processes and where international research centers and local organizations will interact, develop the agenda for research for development and carry out the actions to generate, construct and mobilize integrated knowledge resulting in sustainable and equitable development of the territories.
In 2014, we continued the learning journeys in Nicanorte through territorial analysis (in Spanish). CIAT, Bioversity International and the key organizations of the territorial learning alliances employed an integrated and systemic analysis framework that encompassed realities of the farms, families, communities, markets and policy. Collective analysis based on local data and information allowed us to identify strategic entry themes and entry points (in Spanish) to initiate collective learning journeys. The strategic themes and entry points are the launching points for formulating research for development proposals that will allow us to learn about how to improve productivity and sustainability through critical and practical knowledge generated via strategic systems research. During this process, the key partners participating actively in territorial platforms will continue to evolve into more effective learning organizations to enhance the capacity of the local innovation systems. At the same time, the territorial and thematic learning alliances will arise as relevant spaces for collective learning in the territories.
The Nicanorte Action Site covers 71 municipalities in northern Nicaragua, stretching from the border region of the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) in the East to the municipality of Somotillo in the West.
Blog and photo by Falguni Guharay, Scientist, Research for Development Platforms, Humidtropics and PIM, CIAT. Blog edited by Valérie Poiré, Communication Officer, Humidtropics.